It's been a bit of a funny old week emotionally this week. Highs being very high and lows being quite down there under the carpet.
It began on Monday when I nearly knocked off a cyclist. Perhaps I can be forgiven for telling you that this cyclist was cycling in the dark, with no lights at all and as I was waiting and signalling to turn right, she shot round the right hand side of me. How I missed her can only be down to a higher force at work that night.
It made me think hard about cyclists on the roads here in Edinburgh and probably all over the UK, in fact, it did even inspire me to work on a blog post after I'd calmed down, entitled Viscious Cycle (yeah...Joey cool eh?!) but I've decided to scrap it as I was still fuming and just try to rationally re-blog what I said.
When I was a kid, I'd cycle everywhere. Admittedly we did live in Hicksville, but station wagons and tractors aside, the world was so much more open to me once I got on two wheels. I'd love for my kids to have that freedom and we have taught them to ride their bikes, but I couldn't allow them to just take off here like I used to do.
I'm not a helicopter parent but the thought of them out on the Edinburgh roads causes a complete melt down inside me, I am sure there are many of you out there who will tell me otherwise, but I just stick my fingers in my ears and then I can't hear you!
I think it stems partly from a huge increase in the amount of traffic we have on our roads, the fact cars are bigger too - my current car is far wider than the mini metro my mum used to have and waaaay longer. I think that it really is a circle that results from more traffic, less bikes, then when people do cycle, car drivers have far more awareness of this or tolerance, this is then making the cyclists more aggressive...although, the fact that cycling proficiency seems to have hit the "cuts" bin in the council offices too and are offered in less and less schools. Cyclists in Edinburgh weave in and out of the traffic with little regard for the highway code. No understanding of the fact that they are not entitled to swing out right to pass traffic at the lights and then undercut. No regard for hand signals or lights. It's actually quite terrifying. I have also cycled here in Edinburgh and I find it terrifying from the cyclists point of view too. Drivers don't slow down, they don't give me room when they pass me and cycle lanes are parked in or buses use them too, which is equally scary.
I'm not sure where I'm heading with this. Both parties are to blame. Maybe we should be putting proper cycle paths in more cities that allow cyclists to go safely to and from their destinations?
So, the ups;
I attended a birth this week and managed to successfully identify an OP baby just from observing the mother and "feeling" her contractions with her. It's funny how happy this has made me. It's made me realise that I can do this and there is so much to be learned from observing the mother.
Her waters broke at around midnight and she started to have gentle contractions from around 2am. She did, however, note that her waters seemed to have stopped leaking. I arrived around 6.30am and she'd not had much more leakage, but contractions had picked up. They were low in her abdomen and she was finding comfort lying over the ball.
After a while her contractions seemed to intensify and double peak. I did wonder in my head, if she was experiencing some coupling, which is a sign that a baby could be posterior.
The pains had been intense and quite close together too. After a while she had a rest...slowing of contractions, again, some train of thought that baby might have been posterior, so we concentrated on an all fours position and lots of rocking back and forth.
One contraction caused her to cry out a little about the baby's movement being really strong and I wondered if we'd managed to turn it.
As she sat up, she began leaking quite a lot of water again, also evidence that it may have been the hind waters that had gone caused by the position of the baby.
At hospital an internal exam revealed a slight swelling on the baby's head, these oedemas are sometimes caused by the baby trying to turn against the cervix and back to back labours taking longer to do this.
The midwife confirmed our theory that the baby may well have been posterior but had now turned. Small things, but what a high that I had diagnosed it, acted on it and it had successfully altered the baby's position. Of course, as no one really "gets it" and my poor other half and mother just have to nod and make the right noises, where else to share it than out there into the silent wide world, to all you wonderful listeners who don't have to make any audible noise, or nod your heads, but I know you understand ;-) It reassures me that I can do this job, it is the right choice for me, I will be able to symbiotically merge holism and elements of technocracy to be a good midwife, the best I can.
Oh, and post script:
I asked her if I could take a guess at the sex - thinking my odds were pretty even ;-) Apparently according to the mum, everyone was thinking it was a boy, but, I felt girl, nothing to do with position, her bump shape, heart rate etc blah blah, just something secret about the mama...
8lb3oz baby girl born on 1/2/11 - If I don't make midwife, I understand there is an opening in a local coven!!